Kosovo experts oppose Denmark prison outsourcing – EURACTIV.com

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Editor’s take: Two weeks to see if a new vaccine is needed. In almost two weeks, EU scientists will have an idea of whether a new adapted vaccine will be required to face the Omicron variant, which is expected to dominate Europe by mid-January, EURACTIV has learned. But are boosters offering enough protection? Read more.

The European news you deserve to read. Welcome to The Capitals by EURACTIV.

In today’s news from the Capitals:


Experts and opinion leaders have told Danske Radio journalists they oppose the Danish-Kosovo deal under which Denmark will rent 300 prison cells to accommodate Danish prisoners in the town of Glijan at a cost of €210 million over the next ten years. Read more.



Police raids Bavarian far-right AfD, anti-vaxxer movement radicalises. The growing radicalisation of anti-vaxxers fuelled by the encrypted messaging service Telegram has prompted police raids on parliamentarians, as scientists warn the movement is becoming more violent. Read more.



French government hopes vaccine pass adopted by mid-January. “We are aiming for a definitive adoption of the vaccine pass in the first half of January,” announced government spokesman Gabriel Attal on Tuesday. With the bill being presented to the council of ministers on 27 December, parliament should “examine this text between Christmas and New Year’s Day,” he added. Read more.



Austrian health minister: We will not be able to stop Omicron. Austria can not stop the Omicron variant but “we can gain time to prepare in the best possible way”, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said after meeting with the WHO Europe director, broadcaster ORF reported. Read more.


Austria evaluates travel bans for UK. Austria is currently assessing whether to impose harsher entry requirements for travellers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway due to the spread of Omicron. Read more. 



Irish PM: Brexit negotiations still on track despite Frost’s resignation. Talks between the EU and UK on the Northern Ireland protocol remain on track despite the recent departure of the UK negotiator David Frost, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said. Read more.



Finnish government divided over what to do with undocumented migrants. The cracks are starting to show within Finland’s five-party government over what to do with the 3,000 undocumented migrants whose applications have not been accepted. Read more.



Tsipras winks at progressives, says the right is the ‘only political rival’. The only political rival for the leftist main opposition Syriza party is the right-wing New Democracy party (EPP) and not any other progressive political force, leader of Syriza and former PM Alexis Tsipras said. Read more.



Portugal brings forward mandatory remote working. The Portuguese government decided to bring forward the period when remote working will be mandatory to 25 December, Prime Minister António Costa announced on Tuesday. Read more.



​​Italian PM: Global COVID-19 vaccination rate must reach 70% in first half of 2022. “Italy supports the ambitions to vaccinate 70% of the global population against COVID-19 within the first half of 2022”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Tuesday at the annual meeting of Italian ambassadors across the world. Read more.



Spanish regions demand urgent measures to curb latest COVID-19 wave. The heads of government of the Spanish regions will meet Wednesday with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to jointly urge him to adopt new, clear and united measures to help them curb the expansion of the latest COVID-19 wave. Read more.



Polish extreme-right wants capital punishment to return. The extreme-right Confederation party is appealing for reintroducing the death penalty for high treason. “It is very much needed, considering the character and pace of contemporary conflicts,” said Jakub Kulesza, the leader of the Confederation’s parliamentary group, adding that the 10-year prison sentences for the crime are “ridiculous.” Read more.



Czechia becomes first EU country with Pirates in government. The Czech Pirates are the first Pirate Party in Europe to join the governing coalition. Although their election results fell short of their expectations, they took the lead of two key ministries of the new Czech government – the foreign ministry and regional development ministry. Read more.



Bratislava pushing for access to European funds. Bratislava has recently intensified its push for more EU money from the bloc’s structural and investment funds. The money would have to be transferred to Bratislava at the expense of poorer regions in eastern Slovakia, which is not to the liking of the European Commission and some other Slovak municipalities. Read more.



Albanian prime minister invites Italy, Greece, and Hungary to Open Balkan. At the signing ceremony of the Open Balkan initiative, Prime Minister Edi Rama said it is not attempting to revive Yugoslavia and that Italy, Greece, and Hungary should join the initiative. Read more.



Bulgarian defence minister against having NATO troops in country. Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Stefan Yanev is against the deployment of NATO troops in Bulgaria. The alliance is discussing various options to respond to Russia’s actions, including deploying more troops in Bulgaria and Romania. Yanev says that such a measure would increase tensions. Read more.


European institutions investigate Bulgarian ‘golden passports’. The Council of Europe and the European Commission are investigating the schemes that give Bulgarian citizenship in return for investment, EURACTIV Bulgaria has learned. Read more.



Crowd tries to enter Romania’s parliament in protest against COVID pass. Protestors tried to gain access inside the parliament building during a protest organised by ultra-nationalist party AUR against the introduction of COVID passes. Read more.



Tourism on Croatia’s seaside is flourishing. With about 200 hotels, private accommodation and several camps opening for the Christmas holidays, hotel managers are hoping that COVID-19 crisis management will allow them to work until 2am on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Večerni list daily reported. Read more.



Slovenia wins US support for UN Security Council bid. The United States has endorsed Slovenia in its effort to win a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2024-2025, a candidacy that pits it against Belarus. Read more.



Serbian epidemiologist expects new COVID-19 peak in second half of January. Epidemiologist Predrag Kon estimated that a new leap in coronavirus infections awaits Serbia in the second half of January. Read more.



Hungary fortifies protection along border with Serbia to stop migrants. Hungary has organised a major military exercise along its border with Serbia and agreed with Ankara on the deployment of Turkish police forces to suppress further inflows of migrants from the Middle East, portal Balkan Security Network wrote on Tuesday. Read more.



EU’s Varhelyi and Dodik ‘agreed’ on security and defence competencies transfer. EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi and SNSD leader Milorad Dodik “agreed” on the date of the special session of National Assembly of Republika Srpska, Serb entity (RS), as well as the dynamics of the “entry into force” of the conclusions related to the transfer of competencies in the field of security and defence, indirect taxes and justice. Read more.


Russia is against High Representative in BiH. “Russia believes the OHR (Office of High Representative) needs to be closed so that all the powers are given to BiH institutions,” said Foreign Minister Turković after he met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Read more.



Croatian and Montenegrin presidents meet. Croatian President Zoran Milanović met with his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Đukanović, who is on a working visit to Croatia for the 30th anniversary of the National Union of Montenegrins of Croatia. They talked about relations between the two states, Montenegro’s EU journey, and the situation in Southeast Europe, Milanović’s office said.

In the evening, the two presidents attended a ceremony observing the anniversary, to be held under their auspices. Đukanović was in Croatia in September on an official visit.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)


  • EU: College meeting with European Commission presenting proposal on global corporate taxation and shell entities and own resources decisions.
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosts cabinet meeting.
  • Belgium: Prime Minister Alexander De Croo meets with Consultation Committee on Covid-19.
  • Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi holds end-of-year press conference.
  • Spain: The regions and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to convene in an extraordinary meeting to adopt new measures to curb the spread of the sixth COVID-19 wave.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Alice Taylor, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic]

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